Making a Living Yet Never Living

We are all on borrowed time

Some turning a blind eye
To the wanderlust nipping at our heels
Others, acknowledging it in silence
Knowing that with self-control, it can be kept at bay

Why? Why, when only faced with our own deadline,
Do we rise up to live,
To explore and travel, to approach every stranger for a story
To grasp for some attempt at meaning before our existence is demolished

Why do we keep our whole life limited and routine,
Afraid to dance without inhibitions,
To sing at the top of our lungs in the car,
Instead choosing to spend our days making a living
Without ever seeking to live

I write of the desire, the need to take in everything
And yet I find myself sitting at a screen, typing away
A paycheck for the chance that I might wake up
Soon, I will stop making my excuses

With the city lights growing a brighter contrast
A dark sky pretending to be night but clouds hang low,
A wide reflection of the neon signs

I realize that for over two years I have now sat
Thinking only in dollar signs,
Failing to return to the spontaneous trips
Waking at three in the morning, determined to make it to the beach before sunrise
Armed with only time and gasoline

I know I can save and I know we will travel
But once we make plans, set a schedule
The mystery and the excitement of the unknown stopping point,
It all wanes and becomes a grid of required events, a guideline for adventure

So instead I want to squirrel away funds
I want to open an envelope, pull out the cash
Turn to you with keys in hand
Let’s drive for a day, let’s drive for the weekend
Let us spin the wheels and consume the gravel,
Stopping at hide-away stores
Drive to a small town square and dance to the truck’s radio
Put the dogs in the back, roll the windows down
And breathe air of a different kind
Think not of the gas tank, think not of the budget
Look only to the road or to your right and I will look only to my left

In your eyes I travel the only road trip I’ve ever sought
In your smile, the miles speed by
In your arms, my destination is meaningless
Swept up in a passion
Knowing that with the weekend’s close,
So too shall the map fold up and be stowed away

The grind will resume, the responsibilities taking forefront in our minds
The bills and daily requests will put each day’s clock into sharp focus
But in the dark bedroom, dimly shining with outside lights
I see your profile and we may smile at each other
Knowing that the trip may be over
But the map still holds secrets
Highways have yet to be traced, cities circled wildly
Cut out post cards glued along the roadways
A physical testament to the life we have led

Someday, as a child quiets into slumber,
That map will hang above their bed
When their eyes open, they will know only the possibilities
They will dream of a Seussical world
Never to be told that the highways stretch too far
And the requirements of life, too pressing

No Highway is Too Far | Living without Living | Koogimama

Could You, Would You, In Your Life?

Truth and Beauty

A Softer World

There’s a thousand and one ways for you to kill the passing hour
There’s a million and one ways to kill a day
A billion and one to kill a week

A trillion and one in your lifetime

I think a big part of growing up and becoming an independent being
Involves a major lesson on how to be a child again
Actually, growing up involves a lot of lessons

1. Appreciate the little things
It’s the simple, small things that allow you to really grasp how awesome your life is. I know the bills pile up and the days seem to get longer, but it doesn’t matter against the little things.
Your loved one puts a simple post-it on the front door saying “I love you” that you see just as you leave for work.
When you only need a twenty five cents more for your purchase and the person behind gives it to you.
Your waiter offers free refills on something that normally would’ve been extra.

Last night I had one of those moments. We were sitting at the bar and watching as Flash, an older black man, sings soulfully into the mic, smiling at the women who giggle to each other. All of a sudden, a new song comes on and my love sets down my beer, grabs my hand and pulls me onto the dance floor, where we sway slowly, spinning softly, to Elvis.
“Take my hand, take my whole life too / For I can’t help falling in love with you.” 

2. Do not regret what you’ve done in life because at that time, it was exactly what you wanted.
I’m guilty of sitting and regretting A LOT in my life. It’s something everybody does. But there’s value in those things you “regret”. Those drunken nights, those loud arguments in the driveway, the desire to run from the only people who’ve been there from the beginning, not staying in school, quitting a job for false pride. All of these things people can look back on and regret but honestly, would you be where you are today if they hadn’t happened?

Each experience, action, or memory that you look back on with just a little bit more perspective and a tighter hold of the big picture is something to be appreciated, not regretted. Those times built you, showed you where to go, who to trust, gave you the opportunity to be the bigger person, and challenged you to not be content with what you used to be and instead seek improvement and betterment of your self.

3. Remember that the internet isn’t life. There’s the outside as well.
This one’s silly and something that we all heard from our parents growing up.
“It’s a beautiful day today, why don’t you go outside?”
Despite how many times they said it, we still had to be locked outside for a decent couple of hours on a regular basis. At the time, yes, you’re having a fantastic adventure through jungles and hiding from cars but it’s not until years later that suddenly, as you’re sitting in an office or on your lunch break, sweating from manual labor or wearing a jacket in your cubicle, that you miss being able to go play in the mud.

Even if your not an outdoors person, you can still enjoy a nice afternoon outside. I know here in Houston that’s a little impossible right now but eventually!!! A picnic by the bayou, take the dogs to the dog park, challenge your friend to a go-kart race, or just join friends/family for a dip in the pool.

Whenever I get bored with being “grown up” and “responsible”, I invite someone out to eat. And then I initiate a spitball war. Or just throwing random things at each other war. But it never hurts to relax once in a while and just act like a child.

I remember going out to eat and getting told to be quiet and sit still a couple years back by someone. Said that I was being childish and embarrassing them. What I remember most though, was the fact that while they were embarrassed, I was just mad they didn’t try to understand. You don’t have to act like a grown-up all the time. Remember that, boy.

Life is something to be cherished, fully appreciated, a reason to be grateful and an opportunity to do more than just make a paycheck.